A Sleep Diary is a set of questions that you answer after awakening about the sleep you just experienced. Each diary covers a 7-day week. You should keep a diary for each week during active CBT-I treatment and bring your diaries to each appointment.
I recommend that you keep the diary in a place you will see it in the morning and complete it as soon as possible. Don’t wait too long or you will forget important details, and don’t attempt to complete it during the night. It is understood that some of your answers will be approximations and will involve your best guess. Despite any inaccuracies, sleep diaries tend to be accurate enough to be useful.
The diary will help us identify factors that are likely to maintain your insomnia. It will help to guide specific recommendations regarding behavioral and environmental changes that you can make that will likely improve your sleep. It will also help us to measure and track your progress.
Commentary on the Sleep Diary questions
People sometimes have confusion about question #6, which is a follow up to question #5. Question #5 asks “How many times did you wake up, not counting your final awakening?” Question #6 asks, “In total, how long did these awakenings last?” Here is an example of how to answer this question: Let’s say you awakened 3 times during the night, and during each awakening, you were awake for 10 minutes each. The answer to question #6 would be 30 minutes.